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  • Writer's pictureSmoke & Wildwood

Virtual wedding fair

This weekend we took part in the Modern Love Weddings virtual wedding fair & were asked to take part in a Facebook live with the lovely Alex talking about all things styling.


MLW: Let’s talk styling – what’s the difference between and event stylist and wedding planner?

S&W: Wedding planners and stylists actually share a lot of the same skill set and visions, however where a wedding planner brings together a team of suppliers, a stylist physically takes care of that creative side and also be very hands on in the design process mocking up designs & then where they shine is then creating them on the day.

Planners are the super organised ones who make your day run seamlessly and work super hard in the lead up matching your style to the right suppliers, scheduling behind the scenes like when are all your suppliers going to arrive etc. so you don’t have to. Basically they coordinate everyone and everything, a stylist on the flip side is then the person a planner would task with carrying out your vision & ideas, or if you don’t have a planner would be the person you tell your style to and they then would take it, put together some designs for say tablescapes, furniture layouts, creative lighting, installations etc & then execute those ideas.

MLW: What would your top tips be to keep within a wedding budget but to create some quirky and cute areas for photos / lounge areas etc

S&W: First of all if you have a venue that you think needs some up-styling I would reach out to stylists with your: date, venue, pinterest board and a clear budget, & see if they can create something for you within that budget. Setting up an event such as a wedding is physically very tiring so having someone to do that lifting and setting up whilst making it beautiful is actually a huge relief & relieves a lot of stress & tiredness for the rest of the weekend, so is definitely worth the money if it’s something you are looking for.

If you feel you haven’t got a budget for a stylist or your venue doesn’t need much else but you’d like to put a little creative touch on it, I would start say a year before putting together ideas on pinterest and also spending time looking through instagram for inspiration. Then you can either start collecting from places like Facebook marketplace, etsy & ebay, which I’d recommend doing over the course of a few months, or you can approach a prop hire company.

Prop hire companies are absolutely ace too. They have loads of great props and furniture available to hire that they will drop off. As a styling company we work really closely with Array Wedding & Event hire who let you go to their warehouse to see their pieces in real life. You can also move their bits around and they will make recommendations of what will match with pieces you pick too. The best thing is to reach out to lots of suppliers and find out what they offer.

MLW: If a couple was thinking about hiring a stylist what kind of questions would you recommend to ask them?

S&W: First thing when picking a stylist is do your social media & website research, look through their galleries and see their style. Does their style align to yours? Some are going to be rustic and wild, some polished and perfect, some eco, some eclectic. And you can also see who else they have worked with & events they have done.

Question wise if you have looked over a wide portfolio of their work, you then want to let them know which are your main focus areas you want to be covered. Tell them you want your tables styled, you want a lounge seating area, the bar area, cake table, gifts table, outside to be lit up, a photo area etc. etc.

From there tell them your colour scheme & show them some examples you like so they can see your own personal style and from there ask them to mock up a bespoke proposal for you of what they think suits your personality but at the same time would look great in your venue.

Ask their opinions too like what do you think of the venue? Do you have any recommendations for us? Because they will definitely have lots of recommendations & think of things you may have never even thought of before. Things like how people will flow through the building and then does the venue need lighting to draw people through. Do we need an installation in void spaces? Do we change the lighting at different points during the day? Things like that that only experienced events stylists and managers would think of.

MLW: What are your favourite wedding styles at the moment and how do you achieve them?

S&W: I will always love rustic, it’s what our brand is about but that doesn’t necessarily mean green and brown, it’s about using what the earth provides and that outdoorsy feel. Nature, plants, wood that sort of thing.

We achieve that by picking props that are foraged, gathered, recycled & upcycled & Array are the same. Array started with their vintage shop, foraging through other peoples treasures and then passing them on, and now the same with the prop and event furniture side of things. These are all pre-loved items that already have their own story and are now being given another one and I just love that.

Sustainability is a real style in itself at the moment and to achieve that reduction in your carbon footprint I think it’s really important to achieve that by aligning with suppliers who have that same sort of mindset.

MLW: If a couple were putting up a marquee in a field and asked you to help them style it, what would be your initial ideas?

S&W: We absolutely love an outside wedding. Lighting is massively important and ourselves, Array & Quirk have actually put together a package collectively to help with just this, doing up a DIY venue. Outdoor dining is a lovely experience because we can’t readily do it in this country & if you can, get firepits. Humans love flames, they are natures TV. However what’s really important is that when you are putting together your initial ideas that you think about your ‘crowd’ so to speak. You want to keep everyone as together in a field as possible to maintain an atmosphere and avoid dispersing your ‘crowd’ as much as you can. It’s like when you go into a bar & it’s empty you want to go leave, but you like being in a bar with lots of other people. Same sort of idea. So use your styling to do this: Create lounge areas, lit up walk throughs, have people move from area to area in the way you want but make it look beautiful too!

MLW: How important is colour?

S&W: This completely depends on you as a couple. And colour I think is where your personality comes out. It is neither important nor unimportant if it’s what you want from your day. Just because trends are happening doesn’t mean you have to follow them, you should do you on your day, whatever makes you happy!

MLW: Where do you feel the trends are heading for 2021/2022 in terms of wedding styles and colours?

S&W: Natural has suddenly burst on to the scene as has terracotta and we are down for it! Colour was set to be big this Summer as were dried flowers and I think with the postponements will now travel through to next year and as I mentioned earlier sustainability has become a style in itself - Being able to see something has been pre-loved or forraged. But again with the trends it’s all about what you guys want as a couple so take inspiration but ultimately don’t feel like you have to follow them, it’s your day & you should do it your way.

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